It’s that time of year again. Not only is the sun out, but the fish are in. And there is no better idea than to turn that fishing obsession into a potential money-maker. Salmon and halibut derbies abound this month and into September, so make plans now to see if you can be the lucky winner.
63rd annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby, Aug. 11-19: The Seward Silver Salmon Derby is one of the oldest and largest fishing derbies in Alaska, equally popular with locals, other Alaska residents, and visiting anglers from around the nation and world. Anglers vie for the largest silver salmon and try to catch tagged fish worth prizes. Anglers turn their fish in daily, which are sold to raise funds for fish enhancement efforts and fisheries scholarships for graduating high school students. Last year’s winner, C.H. Schroeder of Big Lake, took the top prize with the 15.2-pound silver. (224-8051 seward.com)
Take your pick with the Valdez Fish Derbies. (www.valdezfishderbies.com)
Halibut Derby, through Sept. 2: The Valdez Halibut Derby features a $10,000 grand prize for the largest halibut, $3,000 for second place and $1,500 for third place. In addition to weekly prizes, all anglers who purchase a derby ticket have a chance to win $5,000 cash in a drawing at the end of the season. Freida Wiley of Valdez won last year’s event with the largest halibut ever caught in the history of the derby, a 374-pound monster caught Aug. 6 with guide Dan Orion.
Silver Derby, July 21-Sept. 2: The Valdez Silver Derby features a $10,000 grand prize for the largest silver, $3,000 for second place and $1,500 for third place. In addition to daily first- and second-place prizes, all anglers who purchase a derby ticket have a chance to win $5,000 cash in a drawing at the end of the season. Cole Baxter of Fayetteville, Ga., won last year’s silver salmon derby with one of the smallest silvers ever caught, a 15.62-pound fish he caught July 26, 2017, with Shark Tooth Charters.
Kids Pink Salmon Derby, July 21: This fun, one-day event it open to any kid in age divisions 5-7, 8-10, 11-13 or 14-16. The free event includes an end-of-day barbecue at 5 p.m. to help celebrate a new generation of young anglers.
Women’s Silver Salmon Derby, Aug. 11: This event is as the name implies – for women only! Early registration begins Aug. 5 at the Prospector Valdez, and the event begins at 5:30 a.m. on derby day.
Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, through Sept. 15: According to its organizers, the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby is the longest-running halibut derby in Alaska, with cash prizes up for grabs. The event concludes with the Halibut Derby Gala on Sept. 20, where the major tagged fish winners, Just for the Halibut, and kids prizes are announced. Prizes include $25,000 from the Homer Chamber of Commerce or $10,000 from the Homer Charter Association. Last year’s Jackpot winner was Sam Mills of St. Maries, Idaho, whose halibut weighed in at 240 pounds. He won $15,241 for his efforts. Tagged fish prizes include more than 100 fish worth $1,000, $500 or $250. All tagged fish winners receive an immediate cash prize plus are then eligible to win the two major tagged fish prizes of $10,000 & $25,000, announced at the Sept. 20 event. (www.homeralaska.org)